Meet Welile Mbonja, a driving instructor with a difference from Cape Town. An injury in 1998 led him to use a wheelchair. Mbonja is described by those close to him as a go getter, hard worker and an activist who is passionate about his community.

Life will always throw challenges at you. Disability is not an exception. Instead of wallowing in misery, Mbonja took the challenges head on.

It has been a long and hard struggle for him. Welile battled to get a driver’s license because cars at most driving schools were unconverted. This meant that they were not user friendly for people like him. Deeply frustrated with the state of affairs he bought himself a car. Little did he know he was joy was to be short lived. When he approached driving schools for lessons instructors could not assist, as they did not know how to operate a converted vehicle.

“It was quite challenge when one approached driving schools. Instructors battled to assist me as they could not operate a converted vehicle”, recalls Mbonja.

For almost three years Mbonja was driving with a learners’ license. In 2004 a good Samaritan from QASA helped him get his driver’s license.

Now that he had succeeded with this, he was getting closer to realising his dream- to assist people in his position.  To get to that point he had to own a driving school. Before that project could be off the ground, he attended driving instructors training. In 2007 Buwento Driving School was born. At the time Buwento Driving School operated on weekends as Mbonja had a full time job and could not attend to his clients during the week. In 2015 he decided to be more hands on and quit his job to plough his energy and time in the business.

With an 85% pass rate, his goal is to grow the business to the Eastern Cape.

A community activist, Welile worked for local government for nine years as a Community Development Practitioner.  His job entailed linking government to communities. He has initiated several projects which have helped improve the lives of disadvantaged people.

In those projects he launched food gardens for unemployed residents, clean-up campaigns to encourage healthy living and minimise air pollution in our communities. He also spearheaded economic projects for people living with disability.

Instilling a culture of exercise through sport, he introduced wheelchair basketball to people with disability. He also organised a wheelchair race trip to George for Siyaphakama Development Association for the Disabled in 2014 and 2017.

He is the founder of both the Masincedane Association for Disabled People and the Siyaphakama Development Association for Disabled People where he is also chairperson.

Buwento Driving School can be reached on 071 888 7015/ 083 344 1057/ or email

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